If by the virtue of charity of the circumstance of desperation, you ever chance to spend a little time around a Substance-recovery halfway facility like Enfield MA’s state-funded Ennet House, you will acquire many exotic new facts. You will find out…
That chronic alcoholics’ hearts are – for reasons no M.D. has been able to explain – swollen to nearly twice the size of civilians’ human hearts, and they never again return to normal size. That there’s a certain type of person who carries a picture of their therapist in their wallet. That black and Hispanic people can be as big or bigger racists than white people and they can get even more hostile and unpleasant when this realization seems to surprise you. That some people really do look like rodents. That certain persons simply will not like you no matter what you do. That over 50% of persons with a substance addiction suffer from some other recognized form of psychiatric disorder, too. That purposeful sleep-deprivation can also be an abusable escape. That you do not have to like a person in order to learn from him/her/it. That loneliness is not a function of solitude. That it is possible to get so angry you really do see everything red. Those evil people never believe they are evil, but rather that everyone else is evil. That it is statistically easier for low-IQ people to kick an addiction than it is for high-IQ people. That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt. That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness. That cats will, in fact, get violent diarrhea if you feed them milk, contrary to the popular image of cats and milk. That it is simply more pleasant to be happy than to be pissed off. That pretty much everybody masturbates. That different people have radically different ideas of basic personal hygiene. That, perversely, it is often more fun to want something than to have it. That having sex with someone you do not care for feels lonelier than not having sex in the first place, afterward. That God might regard the issue of whether you believe there’s a God or not as fairly low on his/her/its list of things if s/he/it’s interested in re you.
Photography by Andreas Roed and Arthur Sopin Text by David Foster Wallace